There is never a shortage of topics to discuss when it comes to Alltech. The company was present for last week’s NAFB Convention Trade Talk and I chatted with Vice President of Alltech, Aidan Connolly and Ann Kopecky, Alltech’s North American Field PR Manager.
Aidan shared how Alltech’s Crop Science program is exploring natural alternatives to fungicides and focusing on microbes in soil to increase digestibility. Alltech has also conducted research in protein and carbohydrate content in crops. This improves yields and the nutrient value, but also passes down the food chain to those animals who consume them.
Alltech’s Algae production facility was also covered. They have developed a source of algae with a wide range of benefits for many species. It can increase immunity, decrease mortality and increase litter size in herds. Herds who feed this type of algae can also brand their products as value-added DHA Omega-3 enriched for consumers.
Ann talked about one of Alltech’s newest ventures. The In Vitro Fermentation Model (IFM) is on course to be launched this winter. IFM is designed to be a support tool for nutritionists as it will evaluate and troubleshoot dairy rations and reduce feed costs. The model will identify barriers to diet fermentation, formulate rations based on nutrient availability and reduce the loss of energy.
The opening speaker at the Penn State Dairy Cattle Nutrition Workshop pre-conference symposium, sponsored by Prince Agri Products, was Dr. Robert Corbett, Dairy Health Consultation. His focus was on how nutritional and management practices can have a major impact on a dairy cow’s immune system during the transition period. I spoke with him after his presentation.
He says that minimizing stress in close-up and fresh cows is important in supporting their health, milk production and reproductive efficiency. He also noted that dairy cows experience a suppressed immune system at parturition, caused by the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, which makes them more susceptible to mastitis and a host of other health disorders. Elevated blood cortisol, he explained, causes white blood cells, known as neutrophils, to lose their ability to fight infections.
Prince Agri Products sponsored the Penn State Dairy Cattle Nutrition Workshop pre-conference symposium and I was invited in to cover it. To learn more about the company I spoke with Dave Calabotta (right), VP of Marketing and Business Development.
Dave says that Prince Agri Products has been around for about 150 years and is part of Phibro Animal Health. Prince focuses on the marketing of minerals and value added products with the goal of helping maximize the bottom line of dairy producers as well as other primary animal species. The focus here at this conference is on their OmniGen-AF and Animate products.
When dairy producers think of Prince Agri Products Dave wants them to think, “Innovation. We want to be one of the most respected companies as it relates to bringing new technologies in nutrition but more importantly on the cutting edge of where the industry is moving.”
The animated Dairy REAL Seal Character finally has a name. After a nationwide vote, the cartoon character who is helping to build awareness of the advantages of real dairy foods has been named DairyUS. The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) made the announcement today during their annual meeting.
The character was modeled after the iconic REAL Seal logo and will help educate a new generation of consumers about the difference between genuine U.S. dairy products and imitations. The icon is part of an effort to revitalize the seal, which was created in the 1970s and is already used on more than 10,000 food products.
NMPF asked the public to suggest names for the character last summer, using the REAL® Seal website and new REAL® Seal Facebook page. Three finalists were selected from among more than 100 names submitted. An online vote was held from mid-September through Election Day, November 5.
In all, nearly 800 votes were cast. DairyUS, suggested by Kathryn in Clermont, Iowa, received 379 votes. The runner-up, Milkdrop, received 343 votes, while the third finalist, Roscow, received 74 votes. The results of the vote were announced today at the NMPF annual meeting, being held in Phoenix, Arizona.
“DairyUS will help both kids and adults learn about foods made with real dairy products,” said NMPF Chief Operating Officer Jim Mulhern. “The REAL® Seal not only means a product is a real dairy product, but that it is made with milk from cows on U.S. dairy farms and without imported, imitation or substitute ingredients.”
Next up on the AgriBlogging Highway for me is the pre-conference symposium at the Penn State Dairy Cattle Nutrition Workshop. The symposium is sponsored by Prince Agri Products and will focus on Mastitis Management and Transition Cow Health. Reducing the incidence of mastitis and enhancing transition cow health can have a significant impact on dairy cattle health, milk production and profitability.
I’ll be conducting interviews with the presenters during the morning on Tuesday, November 12. Here are the presentations being featured:
• “Management Practices for Enhanced Transition Cow Health and Production,” Robert Corbett, D.V.M., Dairy Health Consultation, Spring City, Utah.
• “Managing Mastitis in Dairy Heifers to Improve Overall Herd Health,” Steve Nickerson, Ph.D., professor of lactation physiology, Animal and Dairy Science Department, University of Georgia.
• “Revisiting Prepartum DCAD: Reducing Hypocalcemia of Transition Cows,” Dave Beede, Ph.D., professor of dairy nutrition and management, Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University.
• “Keys to a Good P&L: Strategies to Make Money,” Greg Bethard, Ph.D., G&R Dairy Consulting, Calmar, Iowa.
Simmons, who received the 2013 Borlaug CAST Communication Award last week, says milk is “one of the greatest food gaps we currently have” since there is currently 14% less milk per person globally than there was in 1961, despite the fact that dairy productivity has doubled. “What we have globally per person is (one glass) eight ounces,” he said. “What is recommended is two glasses.”
Watch his presentation in the video where he explains the need for two glasses per person and how we can get there to #Feedthe9. Find out more at SensibleTable.com.
As part of the ongoing effort to revitalize and build awareness of the dairy industry’s iconic REAL Seal, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) is inviting the public to help choose the name that will be given to a cartoon character modeled after the logo. The character greets those who go to www.realseal.com and will be used in other applications in the future.
Throughout the summer, NMPF used the REAL Seal website and Facebook page to gather submissions for the naming contest. More than 110 individual suggestions were entered. After a review process, the three most fitting candidates were selected. They are:
· Dairyus – Submitted by Kathryn in Clermont, IA (honorable mentions to Ed in Tipton, IA, and Joe in Washington, DC, for alternate spellings).
· Milkdrop – Submitted separately by Roger in Franklin, KY, and Cecelia in Amelia, VA.
· Roscow – submitted by Gavin in Fairfax, VA (honorable mention to Sara in East Syracuse, NY, for an alternate spelling).
To choose among these three finalists, voters can visit www.realseal.com to select a favorite. The campaign is also being promoted at the Seal’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/REALSealDairy. The online voting link will be open through Tuesday, Nov. 5th, which is Election Day 2013. Only one vote per computer will be allowed. The result will be announced November 13th at the NMPF annual meeting in Phoenix.
During their recent First in the Field event, media had the opportunity to jump behind the wheel of all the equipment. But a highlight for many was the chance to see the PLM auto-guidance system in action. I brought my camera along and captured the precision technology in action. Check out how it feels to be behind the wheel and listen to a New Holland representative talk about all the perks of a PLM program.
New Holland Agriculture’s Speedrower Self-Propelled Windrowers was another stop during their First in the Field Media Event. The Speedrower allows for producers to travel faster and increase efficiency. Yet still provides the industry-leading power, control, comfort and performance New Holland customers expect.
Improved steering control gives for smooth, responsive handling.
Hydrostatic transmission allows for 24-mph, high-speed, foward-looking transport.
Prairie Special and draper-ready upgrades.
Upgraded rear support and tire options.
Seth Doman, Brand Marketing Manager for Hay & Forage Preparation Products, explained each new addition and shared dealer feedback after they participated in the First in the Field event.
“We have three new models in the Speedrower line replacing the H8000 series that will be new for 2014. Dealers can order this producer across North American today and are ordering. We have a pre-sale program that is going on through the end of the month.”
Provides up to 20% more capacity with up to 5% more density with patented “C” Shaped Shuttle design.
Increased baling speeds of 110 bales per hour.
PTO driveline design brings improved durability with efficient and faster feeding.
Proven pre-change chamber along with 48% increased flywheel inertia ensuring consistent and dense flake formation with less driveline.
SMART features including Smart Fill Indicators, Crop Saver and Crop ID.
Mark Lowery, Hay & Forage Marketing Specialist, focuses on crop packaging and baling equipment and served as our BigBaler expert for the day. While interviewing Mark, he gave light into the new technologies used to bring New Holland’s 2014 lineup front and center when it comes to hay and forage production in North America.
The two tractors highlighted during New Holland Agriculture’s First in the Field Media Event included the T5 and T6 series tractors. The new T5 has redefined utility tractor standards for mixed farmers with diversified livestock and crop operations. And the T6 has been further enriched by the addition of Auto Command.
- 3.4L F5D Tier 4A emission complaint engines that utilize a Cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation system & a Diesel Particulate Filter.
- Heavy-duty components that enable long hours of working on the farm.
- A broad loader offering further enhanced versatility.
- VisionView cab provides ultimate comfort and visibility.
- Ergonomic CommandArc console provides the operator with perfect placement of controls.
- Auto Command transmission for enhanced efficiency.
- Multi-award-winning Side Winder II armrest.
- Upgraded Horizon Cab for outstanding all-day comfort.
- Powerful hydraulics boasting 33 gal. per min. of flow capacity.
- Blue Power edition for a touch of farming luxury.
- ECOBlue SCR technology which will reduce fuel consumption by up to 10%.
Mike Sevick, Marketing Specialist in Dairy & Livestock Brand Marketing, specifically works with T4, T5, T5 Electro Command, T6, T6 Auto Command and TS6 series tractors. While explaining all the new features of these tractors, Mike was excited to share the dealers enthusiasm while they got behind the wheel of these blue beauties. He even stated that many are looking for them to replace the T6020 and T6030 tractors.
One of the six checkpoints we traveled through during New Holland Agriculture’s First in the Field Media Event was on their new discbines. New Holland has taken discbines to a whole new level with even more durability and functionality with their two new center-pivot models. Discbine 313 and 316 are designed for cleaner cutting, more efficient crop flow and smoother, more effective conditioning.
The MowMax II cutter bar offers improved durability and the ShockPRO fail safe system.
The WideDry conditioning system is 22.5% wider than New Holland’s previous models.
These models offer simplified drivelines with single drive shaft and advanced shielding with high density, bi-fold upper shielding, reducing the weight by 75%.
A two-speed conditioning system is adjustable for the perfect hay quality.
The LeaningEdge flail conditioning allows for even faster drying.
Those working in energy crops like cane and corn stover might be interested in the new BioMass Kit.
During the media event I spoke with Brand Marketing Manager for Hay & Forage Crop Preparation Products, Seth Doman. Not only did he share more insight into these proven technologies, but also when farmers can find them at their local New Holland dealership.
New Holland Agriculture’s First in the Field event has taken place throughout the month of July. The event is designed to train and educate dealers on new products, but ag media had the opportunity to take it all in as well.
While enduring the heat in southern Texas, ag media spent the morning going through six checkpoints. Each station dug deep into the products new elements, gave a visual for hands on learning and time for some q & a. After a lunch of chicken and beef fajitas, we boarded vans to head out in the field. Ride and drive stations were set-up to allow for an up close and personal view of all the new bells and whistles.
During the event I chatted with Mike Cornman, New Holland Hay and Forage Segment Marketing Manager, about the importance of this event and how their innovative technology for 2014 will be desired by farmers across North America.
“As we prepare for season 2014 we have several new products when it comes to hay and forage equipment and felt it necessary to spot light that equipment, but not only tell the media about the equipment but have an opportunity for them to use the machines in the field and see them as they are cutting and baling hay.”
New Holland Agriculture has spent a good part of the summer in the great state of Texas training their dealers from across North America. The training has taken place in Houston, where the temps are high and the humidity is even higher. But that hasn’t stop dealers from taking advantage of the two-day training opportunity.
The dealers rotate through six checkpoints where each new product line is announced. Details are given about changes and additions, but the most important part of the training is the chance for dealers to get behind the wheel and actually run the equipment themselves.
I spoke with Abe Hughes, Vice President of New Holland, North America, recently when they invited ag media to their training facilities in Houston, TX. Abe shared with me how growth, creating smart products and continuing partnerships are the three most important avenues New Holland has set out to accomplish.
“I’m just really excited to be sharing our seven product launches that we’ve got for the dairy and beef segments. It’s really exciting being here in Texas with you guys from the media so you can see them and hear from our experts. Then get in the field and use the equipment. We are also sharing this with all of our dealers. We have been here for five weeks training dealers and employees.”
“What I find amazing is 89 million cattle are actually out there being raised for beef and dairy. New Holland is probably providing feed for most of those cattle every single day. The more we can train people in making better hay, the better nutrition that forage is going to have for the farmer and that means better beef and dairy we are going to have on our table.”
The National Milk Producers Federation is getting REAL serious about the REAL Seal. Well, maybe not so much serious as having some fun. This is the cartoon character that has been created to help “revitalize and build awareness of the dairy industry’s iconic REAL® Seal.” There is already a “cartoon” with the character on YouTube. What would you name it?
“The REAL® Seal has been around for nearly 40 years,” said Jim Mulhern, Chief Operating Officer of NMPF. “This character is intended to bring the importance of looking for REAL® dairy products and foods made with REAL® dairy products to life.”
The first order of business will be naming the character, according to Mulhern, who said a name will be chosen through an on-line challenge.
“We want kids to learn how to differentiate real dairy products and foods made with real American dairy products from the vegetable- and nut-based pretenders,” said Mulhern. “To highlight this important distinction, we are launching a campaign to name the character.”
Names may be submitted through the REAL® Seal website: www.realseal.com. All entries must be received by August 31, 2013. The top three names entered will be posted in September on the REAL® Seal Facebook page (www.facebook.com/realsealdairy) and subject to a vote. The name with the most votes will be declared the winner.
With the Senate poised to vote on comprehensive immigration reform this week, USDA held a forum on the issue Friday in Kansas City, featuring Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, former Kansas City mayor and current Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, and representatives of the nation’s dairy industry.
“We are blessed by the most productive, most innovative and most hard-working farmers and ranchers,” Vilsack said. “American agriculture is the greatest in the world, but we risk that if we don’t have certainty in our farm policy and we don’t have comprehensive immigration reform.”
“Because of America’s farmers, we enjoy abundant, safe and affordable food in this country,” said Dairy Farmers of America board chairman Randy Mooney. “In order to ensure that continues, we need Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. For the dairy industry – an industry where there is no such thing as a day off – there is no viable visa program to provide a legal, stable and knowledgeable workforce that ensures milk and other dairy products get into the dairy case, our lunch programs and more.” Watch Mooney’s comments in the video below or download the audio here. DFA Chair Randy Mooney
Mooney emphasized that the need for qualified workers is an issue bigger than dairy, pointing to specialty crops such as lettuce, strawberries and apples that also require labor that is not desirable to domestic workers. Similarly, a shortage of workers affects crop farmers, directly for their own farms and for farmers who buy their product.
The comprehensive immigration bill being considered by the Senate – with a final vote expected possibly this week – includes provisions for agriculture including a new “Blue Card” program for current experienced farm workers and a new agricultural visa program to meet future labor needs. The provisions in the bill were the result of an agreement reached between farm worker groups and agricultural organizations.
In celebration of June Dairy Month, efforts by the National Milk Producers Federation to revitalize the REAL® Seal are taking a big leap forward this month. A new campaign is being launched that allows consumers to learn more about the benefits of real, American-made dairy products and foods made with them, using a new Facebook page, blogger outreach and digital advertising.
The REAL Seal Facebook page creates a new voice and visual feel to engage target audiences, especially moms and heads of households, encouraging them to buy dairy products and foods containing dairy products. The page’s content includes interactive updates, multimedia presentations, contests, polls, and quizzes. One of the elements of the launch later in the month will be a “Name the Character” contest for a new, animated REAL Seal cartoon character. It can be viewed on the REAL Seal website.
Reaching out to bloggers writing about the mom/parenting, food/cooking, health/wellness, and lifestyle topic areas will generate online conversation and awareness surrounding the REAL® Seal campaign and lead consumers to official REAL Seal web pages. In July, a special Buyer’s Guide section will be added to the REAL Seal website, where consumers will be able to go to find dairy products and foods made with dairy products that are using the REAL Seal, as well as restaurants that serve only REAL dairy products. REAL Seal users will have the option of providing links to their company’s website as well.
The Senate Agriculture Committee meets this morning to consider the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013, their version of a “Farm Bill.” Yesterday, farm broadcasters meeting in Washington D.C. had the chance to interview a number of representatives from various agricultural and renewable fuels organizations and most of them had something to say about what the House and Senate have in their respective draft bills.
The Cool Cow mobile app puts the tools dairy producers need to monitor and address heat stress at their fingertips. Research shows that cows can begin to show the effects of heat stress at a Temperature Humidity Index or THI of 68. Reproduction can be impacted at a THI of 55.
Heat stress and an associated 10 percent to 35 percent milk production loss may cost a dairy producer $1.60 to $5.60 per cow per day. These losses can continue to mount when reductions in reproductive performance and increased days open are added into the equation.
The mobile app features an easy to use heat stress calculator for inputting the current temperature and humidity readings. The temperature and humidity is then translated into a THI reading that shows the severity of heat stress, ranging from mild to extreme risk; providing dairy producers insight on the current conditions inside their barn. In addition to the heat stress calculator, the mobile app offers tips on mitigating heat stress from management to nutrition.
Winners of the dairy industry’s prestigious Sustainability Awards join the ranks of celebrities, athletes and influencers – from country music singer Miranda Lambert to movie star Salma Hayek to actor and father Taye Diggs – by donning the famed Milk Mustache for their own ad. The dairy industry leaders were recognized yesterday for their efforts to advance sustainability at the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards in Washington, D.C.
This marks the second year MilkPEP, most known for the National Milk Mustache “got milk?” Campaign – a multi-faceted campaign designed to educate consumers about the health benefits of milk – has sponsored the Sustainability Award Milk Mustache ad.